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Possession by Bass: Thundercat at the Broad


Possession, it takes hold like a wave pulling you under the bass notes and syncopated rhythm section of Thundercat, the spiritually eponymous name of the composer I currently am referring to. He who makes the sky crack the way Mr. Murakami’s steps on The Tail Of A Rainbow making it scream and cry out its swirling rainbow blood across his canvases. The notes from the bass radiate through the openings in the side of the Broad Museum in Downtown Los Angeles. While I stand before a massive flower sculpture I closed my eyes for a moment, the augmented reality of my own imagination saw the vines dancing, one of the rainbow flowers face turned into Thundercat and the flowers on the walls cheered. visionary community members, Thundercat and Takashi Murakami, sharing their deepest feeling and thoughts after processing the ways of the world and then giving it back something that brings smiles to peoples faces everywhere it goes.


I like seeing a performance from the side of a stage. I would love to one day experience a top-down view but what I like about being on the side is you get to see the mechanics of the artistry. The drummer’s arms always mesmerize me like a metronome, and seeing Mr. Bruner smile at his collaborators washes me with comfort. It’s like getting to see a magician in real life. They just do magic on the fly if you ask nice enough. The sleight of hand casting spells into song from the fretboard wand. It’s so wild, when reading his Wikipedia page, I found out he was in Suicidal Tendencies, the first thing I did was check to see it he was in the band at the same time Thomas Pridgen was in the band. They sadly were not, Thomas Pridgen is probably my favorite drummer and even just imagining what he and Thundercat could have done within the confines of a hardcore band would have been otherworldly. The air was whimsical that night. Purple and orange lights matched the sherbet sunset behind the East West Bank stage. I stood with my back against the museum wall reminding myself as much as I want to don’t casually put my foot on the side of a museum or we won’t get invited back. What an experience to live, sandwiched by the work of virtuosos.


The night ends with everyone dancing and smiling as we walk out and have to slip through swiveling hips of happy faced flower people feeding on the sonic chlorophyll emanating from THUNDERCAT, the man with the Gucci hairpins in his hair and Star Trek kilt. Steven Lee Bruner says goodnight.

Words by: Jonathan Reyes

Photos by: Michelle Corvino


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